It’s always handy to have a pack of mints with you, especially right after a cup of coffee or a garlic-filled lunch. Whether you’re going on a date, to the dentist, or to an interview, bad breath is no good.

If you’re a fan of “curiously strong mints,” all you need is a few basic ingredients, some empty tins and a straw to construct your own Altoids at home. And, as Jill over on One Good Thing points out, you can construct them in any flavor you want, not only mint.

Here’s what you need:

1 pkg of gum paste (you can also construct your own, recipe below)
Essential or flavored oils
Food coloring (optional)
Citric acid (if you’re making any sour flavors)
Plastic straw
Powdered sugar (just enough to dust so they won’t stick together)

All you have to do is knead a few drops of oil and food coloring into the gum paste, roll it out like dough, and use the straw like a cookie cutter to cut out the mints.

Then, once you finish, dust them with a little bit of powdered sugar and let them dry for a couple of days. You can make as many different colorings and flavors as you want, and there’s no deficit of options in oils.

As one commenter pointed out, you can also construct your own gum paste using powdered sugar, unflavored gelatin, lemon juice, water, and glucose. Just boil the gelatin and lemon juice in water, add the glucose, then mix with the powdered sugar in an electric mixer or by hand. Let the mixture sit in a plastic suitcase overnight and it’s ready to use.

Check out Jill’s blog for the full recipe and instructions, and be sure to peruse the comments for other helpful tips and the recipe for the gum paste.

I guess we can add this to the listing of many things you can do with empty Altoids tins…